Bucks to sign NBA D-League forward Tony Mitchell to 10-day contract

Kevin C. Cox

After completing a buyout with forward Caron Butler last week, the Bucks plan to fill their empty roster spot by giving a 10-day contract to a player from their NBDL affiliate.

The Milwaukee Bucks will sign 24-year-old forward Tony Mitchell to a 10-day contract, according to a tweet from Yahoo!'s Marc J. Spears. Mitchell is currently a member of the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants, the Bucks' NBA Development League affiliate squad (the Bucks share this affiliation with the Bobcats, Pistons, Pacers, Grizzlies, and Magic). In 21 games this season, Mitchell has averaged 19.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 29.5 minutes. Mitchell also played in 48 games for the Mad Ants last season (starting 45), averaging 21.9 points in about 35 minutes per game.

The Bucks were expected to fill the roster spot vacated when they completed their buyout of Caron Butler's expiring contract with a young player from the D-League or overseas. With Butler departed and Ekpe Udoh seemingly stuck in a perpetual state of rehabbing injuries, the Bucks should be able to find minutes for Mitchell, but don't expect him to jump right into the rotation.

Mitchell, a 6-6 small forward from the University of Alabama, has generated a lot of buzz with his electrifying dunking, having been crowned champion of the D-League Dunk Contest--for the second straight year, back in February.

(h/t on the video to @Cosmis)

Guess we just have to hope Giannis can forgive him for beating his older brother Thanasis.

On the real court, Mitchell is sort of a volume-scoring, do-it-all small forward in the same vein as Rudy Gay. He's a bit undersized, though his build and athleticism partly make up for it. His DraftExpress profile from 2012 highlights his elite physical tools and excellent defense on what was a very stingy Alabama team. But plugged-in college fans may remember how quickly Mitchell's draft stock dropped in his junior season, when his productivity dipped and he was eventually suspended from the team in early February.

Adding another young, athletic wing to a team going nowhere seems like a fitting move in early March, and if nothing else Bucks fans can hopefully look forward to a few more highlights when Mitchell takes the floor.

By the way, if you thought the name was familiar, you're probably thinking of the Pistons' rookie PF, also named Tony Mitchell, who was drafted out of North Texas in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft. The Bucks have not, in fact, signed a Pistons player to a 10-day contract. That would be highly illegal and probably pretty awkward.

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